Images of 2004Photo credits throughout: www.timwilkes.com Oskar Kihlborg/ksss Slidebox.it
The Optimist To provide sailboat racing for young people at low cost and to co-ordinate youth workFrom between member countries These are the objectives of the International Optimist Dinghy Association. This yearbook is an attempt to record how the IODA is fulfilling its mission.toin over 110 countries
Why the Optimist? Why sailing? What is your child going to do this summer? Sit in his bedroom with his computer? Go for nice long walks? Help in the garden? Sailing has much to offer. Sadly man’s old enemy the water is often safer than what man has made of the streets. All sorts and sizes of people sail. You don’t have to be taller, stronger, thinner or, initially, even fitter than the average. Boys and girls have the same capability. Sailing brings families together. Boats need to be transported and kids cannot drive. So driving to regattas at weekends becomes a family activity. This is not an exclusive world. 40% of top sailors have parents who do not sail themselves. Why the Optimist? It looks funny, doesn’t it? But Clark Mills knew a thing or two about kids. It doesn’t tip over! Beginners easily learn to balance them- selves, the wind and the boat.Fifty six years ago in Clearwater, Florida a group of It can’t run away with you! Let out the only rope and the boatcitizens wanted to stop their children getting bored. So will just sit there. The more waterthey asked a local designer called Clark Mills to make a gets in, the less it moves. And itboat for kids to sail. The Optimist was born. won’t sink.Fifty six years later his design is still being sailed by hun - Being alone in the boat is thedreds of thousands of young people in over a hundred quickest way to learn. Imagine trying to learn to ride a bicyclecountries worldwide. on a tandem with daddy!Truly this is the boat in which the young people of the You quickly learn from your ownworld learn to sail. mistakes and gain that essential of sailing - and perhaps life - responsibility for yourwww.optiworld.org/ioda-intro.html own decisions.
3IODA and the boat The first thing you need to go racing is a boat! All the same Unlike most sailboats the Optimist is a true one-design. The boats are all the same. If you want to race a boat where money or technology make a difference, look elsewhere. Every builder is regularly inspected to ensure that his hulls conform to tight tolerances and uses similar raw materials and building techniques. But this does not mean a monopoly or a cartel. Any boatbuilder can build after he has satisfied IODA that he is compe-The objective of the Optimist Class is: tent to do so. Nearly forty“to provide racing for young people at low cost” builders in 25 countries have approval,If racing is to be fair and at low cost, then hulls and associatedequipment must be alike, with no advantage to be gained from Accessoriesspending extra money. The ongoing task of IODA is to ensure that There is greater choice of sparsthis is so. and sails. The Optimist is usedIn 2004 IODA worked hard to police and maintain this one-design for everything from teaching 8-principle year olds to world-class racing by 15-year olds. This is reflected in• Luis Miguel Horta, our prototype measurer, made several visits to the equipment available. builders, including measuring new prototypes from the growing number But by the time a sailors needs of moulds in Asia. In late 2003, following a course organised in con- top-level gear he or she will be junction with the Chinese Yachting Association, three new Chinese addicted to their lifetime sport. measurers were appointed and their ongoing education continues. Price?• At Easter in Europe Luis Miguel weighed no less than 36 boats from 16 Prices vary according to markets builders. He found that 15 of these 16 were producing boats which were but in Europe a new hull ready to not only of the correct weight but varied by at most 3.5%. Corrective action has been taken by the other builder. sail with basic gear should not cost over $1,700 + sales taxes.• Scrutineering (check measurement) at the Worlds and continental cham- The “best of everything” as used pionships was conducted, usually by IODA’s team of International at the Worlds, has a list price of Measurers. around $2,500, but ex-charter boats used for only a few days• The first of the new foils, agreed in 2003 to gradually exclude some are a lot cheaper and bulk types of exotic and expensive products and to eliminate rudder shapes purchase can reduce the ideal for illegal propulsion, became available. price still further.• Experiments with exotic sail shapes, which threatened to create an “arms race” between competing designers, were firmly rejected by our Make it yourself Annual Meeting. For those with some practical ability it remains possible to build your own wooden Optimist.www.optiworld.org/ioda-technical.html
Racing First steps It is a small step from sailing round a triangle to trying to do it faster than the next person. Good instructors will ensure that this step is taken under carefully controlled and, above all, safe conditions. It is only too easy to frighten the sailor at this stage. Local travel And it is a small step from racing in your own club to sailing at a regatta along the bay. Boats have to be transported and kids can’t drive. Parents can easily become full-time weekend chauffeurs but in many of the most successful countries this is the job of the club coach. Another idea is to alternate trips with another parent. Then you have at least two kids to look after which stops you getting obsessive about your own. And it is amazing what you will learn about your children and their friends three hours into aRacing is the core activity of the Optimist Class five hour car journey! ParentsLearning to sail may be the first step but in most countries It is very natural to want to helpthis can be safely left to clubs and sailing schools under the your child, especially if you are adirection of National Sailing Associations. sailor yourself, and to watch andBut if young people are not quickly and intelligently intro - criticise his every move. It is also natural to question yourduced to racing they will get bored and leave the sport. daughter’s first boy-friend in great detail. We recommend that you don’t do either! The Rules The rules of sailing are actually quite simple and are taught as part of sailing. They should be enforced from the start. “If you look at competition at junior level you find that rules are often bent or forgotten with the excuse that they are only children. Just when do you expect them to learn manners or rules if not at this level” (HRH The Princess Royal Member, International Olympic Committee)
5International racing Other parts of the world Parents rightly believe that experience of other countries and other cultures is a vital part of education. But it can be difficult to organise. Exchange visits and language schools are often disappointing, and we have all seen at holiday hotels and campsites bored kids just longing for some excitement and to meet new friends. International regattas At Optimist regattas you won’t find many bored kids. Immediately they have a common interest with the people of their own age from different parts of the world, and the excitement of using their existing skills in a new environment. Calendar You don’t have to travel abroad often and it is entirely possible to reach the top without doing so. But if you can there are literally hundreds of regattas worldwideTravel sells sailing! to choose from, almost all of them welcoming foreign sailorsThe function of an International Class, as stated by ISAF of all levels of experience. At Easter thousands of youngRegulation 26.1, is to provide international competitive sailors in the northern hemispheresailing. head south to begin their sailing year. In the summer those notYoung people today have many attractive choices and sail - selected for championships caning will not keep them interested if it is confined to little find a warm welcome atregattas with the same sailors in the local club. national events which are almost always open.International travel has been the growth industry of recent and it’s so easyyears and in sailing this has led to the boom in sailing If you can drive there, anholidays in the sun. Optimist fits easily on the roof of almost any car. And if you can’tThe Optimist, with its international network, has made use there is a good chance ofof this trend to offer opportunities to the young people of chartering or borrowing a boat when you get there - just like thethe world. one at home!www.optiworld.org/ioda-04calendar.html
Some regattasNo Grand Prix! EasterUnlike later sailing and indeed many other sports at this age, there is no Braassemermeerranklist, Grand Prix or circuit in the Optimist Class. This is sailing for fun Netherlands 9-12 Apr.and many parents (and even more schoolteachers!) would not accept that you 264 sailors from 11 countrieshave to go to a certain event on a certain date. 1. Viktor Bergström SWENor is it necessary to compete at frequent international events in order to do 2. Gijs Pelt NEDwell. The top four at this year’s Worlds had not competed outside their own 3. Henrik Grirn SWEcountry earlier in the year. 4. Sander van Bladel NED 5. Freek Wijman NEDMost sailors who do compete abroad do so during the Easter and Christmasholidays. Garda Meeting Italy 8-11 Apr.Easter 791 sailors from 22 countriesWhile Americans North and South take part in the IODA South American 1. Kacper Zieminski POLChampionship, Europeans have the four huge Easter regattas. This year, 2. Tim Saxton GBRhelped by yet another record turnout in Garda, over 1,300 sailors from 24 3. Martino Tortarolo ITA 4. Lukasz Przybytek POLEuropean nations (and a few very welcome visitors) took part in these four 5. Filip Matika CROregattas with an average (and that includes San Marino!) of over 50 sailorsper country. Portoroz Slovenia 9-11 Apr. 274 sailors from 8 countries 1. Nik Pletikos SLO 2. Mihovil Fantela CRO 3. Jakob Bosic SLO 4. Rudi Hravatin SLO 5. Simon Laganis SLO Optispring Netherlands 17-18 Apr. 132 sailors from 5 countries 1. Ben Saxton GBR 2. Tim Saxton GBR 3. Gijs Pelt NED 4. Adam Johansson SWE 5. Mathieu Willemart BEL“an average of over 50 sailors per country” ChristmasTeams from Denmark and San Marino in Garda. St. Nicholas Race Pula, Croatia 4-7 Dec. 300 sailors from 10 countriesChristmas 1. Lukasz Przybytek POLThe December holidays are becom- 2. Filip Matika CROing increasingly popular for Optimist 3. Jas Farnetti ITAregattas. While many families headfor the ski slopes, venues in the sun Malta Euromed Malta 17-21 Dec.keep others sailing. 63 sailors from 10 countriesA growing trend is for smaller island 1. Valentino Valacchi ITAmembers to run more or less invita- 2. Federico Magnano ITAtional regattas, seeking entries from 3. Benji Borg MLTother countries to provide interna-tional competition for local sailors. XL Capital Invitational Bermuda 19-22 Dec.Including the Asian Championship 43 sailors from 10 countriesan estimated 850 sailors from 60 1. Filip Matika CROcountries took part. 2. Victoria Travascio ARG 3. Sebastian Peri Brusa ARG Malta Euromed
7and yet others ASEAN ChampionshipDistances between countries outside Europe prevent much international Thailand Dec.competition apart from the continental championships. But there are 53 sailors from 5 countries 1. Quek Ju Lian SINexceptions. 2. Sean Lee Teik Ran SINThe Dubai International is relatively accessible to Europeans and provides 3. Sherman Teng Feng Yuan SINan ideal antidote to the prospect of February! More importantly it givesthe fast-growing fleets of the Gulf a chance to train and compete with XL Capital Regattatheir visitors. Bermuda 19-22 Dec.Schoelcher Week serves much the same func- 43 sailors from 10 countriestion for the islands of the Caribbean while 1. Filip Matika CROthe deliberately low-key Scotiabank (photo 2. Victoria Travascio ARGright) in St. Thomas is an ideal introduc- 3. Sebastian Peri Brusa ARGtion for younger sailors in the region. Caribbean InvitationalBack in Europe the Dutch Open serves Trinidad Dec.as last minute trials and practice for north 34 sailors from 8 countriesEuropean teams. 1. Sebastian Peri Brusa ARGThe (northern) summer is dominated by 2. Andrew Lewis TRIthe World, European and North American 3. Nathalie Zimmermann PERchampionships, attended by some 650 nation-ally selected sailors, but this is also the season of Orange Bowlnational championships, almost all of them open to foreign visitors and Miami, U.S.A. 27-30 Dec.some of them huge. The biggest we have found is the French with over 194 sailors from 8 countries550 sailors! 1. Stephanie Roble USA 2. Sean Moynahan USANo one designed this calendar and no doubt somewhere there is 3. Adrian Hernandez PURa committee which would like to rationalise it. All we can say is Trofeo M. Campobassothat no one has to go anywhere, and a lot of sailors have a lot of Naples, Italy 3-5 Jan.fun! 134 sailors from 10 countries 1. Tim Saxton GBR Team Racing Events 2. Michaz Gryglenski POL 3. Ben Saxton GBR Team Racing is hugely popular in the Optimist and is included in all continental championships except the European (those who advocate doing so forget that it would involve doubling the jury costs and yet others for the benefit of 80 of the 268 sailors present). Dubai International Dubai, U.A.E. 24-30 Jan Instead three separate European events have developed, each with dif- 65 sailors from 10 countries ferent entry criteria. 1. Filippo Rocchini ITA Earliest is the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti in the Venice lagoon in May. 2. Federico Maccari ITA 3. Gijs Pelt NED Schoelcher Week Martinique 20-25 Feb 88 sailors from 10 countires 1. Nathalie Zimmermann PER 2. Mattthieu Mariani MON 3. Romain Marie FRA Open to regional and national teams, the 2004 event attracted eight Dutch Open Workum, Netherlands 20-23 May countries. 305 sailors from 8 countries Result: 1. Croatia 2. Tuscany/Umbria 3. Friuli/Venezia 4. Florida 1. Nik Pletikos SLO Unique is the GrandOptical Champions Cup in Valle di Ledro, Italy. 2. Matheusz Hanke POL This event is open only to the champion club teams of European coun- 3. Jonas Müller GER tries which run national inter-club team racing championships. Fourteen such teams entered in 2004 and results were: Scotiabank Caribbean International 1. Grafham W.S.C. (GBR) 2. C.V. Bellano (ITA) 3. H.J.B.K. (SWE) St. Thomas, USVI 17-20 Jun 57 sailors from 9 countries Finally in October Berlin hosts the Opti Team Cup. 2004 results are 1. David Alfonso PUR not yet available but the 2003 event saw 16 teams from 14 countries. 2. Haley Powell BER Result: 1. Russia 2. Norway 3. Italy 4. Poland 3. José Nigaglioni PUR
IODA championships All six continents With the creation of an IODA African Championship in 2001 the Optimist became the first boat class to organise, in addition toIn 2004 over 800 young sailors from its Worlds, a championship onover 70 countries will represent their each continent, though the Oceanians is held only biennially.countries at IODA championships. Achievable goals Young people need goals. As local fleets develop IODA aims to keep the sailors interested by providing the achievable target of selection as part of a national team. Who has not dreamed of representing his or her country? Selection From the start of the first Optimist championships in the 60s and 70s teams to participate in them have been selected on the basis of trials held in the Optimist. . . . . of as many as possible But, almost from the foundation of the IODA European Championship in 1983, the Optimist Class took the unusual path of having different sailors selected for different championships. In this way most larger countries select at least thirteen sailors each year for national teams. The Championship Year in figures Memories To represent your country is an Event Sailors Countries unforgettable experience. Many of those who participate in our Worlds 228 50 championships may never aspire Europeans 268 38 to do so as adults. But they will S. Americans 163 13 always be able to look back N. Americans 119 12 and say: Asians 74 12 “I was an under-16 sailing Africans Cancelled international”. Oceanians to be held in December
9World ChampionshipSailors from 84 countries have participated The 2004 Worlds, held in Salinasin IODA World Championships Ecuador attracted 228 sailors from fifty countries, the same asThe Worlds remains the ultimate goal of Optimist racers in Gran Canaria last year. The North African members did not make the long journey butWhile IODA has recently encouraged the growth of continental their place was taken by sailorsand regional championships to facilitate sailors worldwide, the from six Caribbean members.Worlds remains the focal point of the year.Each member country may send up to five sailors, who race in The championship saw the firstsix divisions to reduce congestion on the start line. ever Asian world champion andThe best sixteen teams also compete in the IODA World Team- for the first time in eight yearsRacing Championship. the team-racing event was won by a European team.Our special millennium Worlds for 2000 in Spain attractedsailors from 59 countries, our record to date but by rotating New Zealand and hosts Ecuadorvenues 84 countries have attended at least one championship. won medals for the first time. 42 Years of the IODA Worlds Venues and nations participating 1962 G. Britain 3 1973 CANCELLED 1984 Canada 28 1995 Finland 41 1963 Sweden 4 1974 Switzerland 20 1985 Finland 32 1996 S. Africa 39 1964 Denmark 8 1975 Denmark 23 1986 Spain 29 1997 N. Ireland 41 1965 Finland 9 1976 Turkey 19 1987 Holland 29 1998 Portugal 44 1966 U.S.A. 6 1977 Yugoslavia 22 1988 France 32 1999 Martinique 47 1967 Austria 11 1978 France 25 1989 Japan 30 2000 Spain 59 1968 France 14 1979 Thailand 16 1990 Portugal 38 2001 China 44 1969 G. Britain 15 1980 Portugal 24 1991 Greece 39 2002 U.S.A. 45 1970 Spain 14 1981 Ireland 24 1992 Argentina 29 2003 Spain 50 1971 Germany 13 1982 Italy 30 1993 Spain 41 2004 Ecuador 50 1972 Sweden 15 1983 Brasil 22 1994 Italy 39
IODA World Championship Miami Herald Trophy 1. Wei Ni China (Team Aggregate Scores - 4 sailors, no discards) 2. Paul Snow-Hansen New Zealand 3. Eugenio Díaz Spain 1. N. Zealand 18. Bermuda 35. Portugal 4. Daniel Willcox New Zealand 2. Poland 19. Greece 36. Puerto Rico 5. Lukasz Przybytek Poland 3. Italy 20. Singapore 37. S. Africa 6. Kacper Zieminski Poland 4. Croatia 21. Netherlands 38. Norway 7. Matthew Scott Trinidad & Tobago 5. Mexico 22. G. Britain 39. Barbados 8. Filip Matika Croatia 6. Peru 23. Trinidad 40. Austria 9. Baepi Lacativa Pinna Brasil 7. China 24. Finland 41. Colombia10. Corentin Guegan Tahiti 8. Japan 25. Switzerland 42. Australia11. Gabriel Melchert Brasil 9. Slovenia 26. Uruguay 43. Guatemala12. Tina Lutz Germany 10. Brasil 27. Belgium 44. Dominican R.13. Diego Reyes Mexico 11. Ecuador 28. Malaysia 45. N. Antilles*14. Erik Brockmann Mexico 12. Germany 29. France 46. Bulgaria*15. Paolo Cattaneo Italy 13. Denmark 30. Tahiti 47. C. Taipei*16. Leonardo Dubbini Italy 14. U.S.A. 31. Chile 48. Uganda*17. Oskar Taurell Sweden 15. Argentina 32. Ireland 49. Monaco*18. Wataru Kamiya Japan 16. Spain 33. Venezuela 50. Malta*19. Francesco Falcatelli Italy 17. Sweden 34. Canada * Incomplete team20. Austen Anderson U.S.A.Girls 1. Tina Lutz Germany 2. Nathalie Zimmermann Peru 3. Stephanie Roble U.S.A. 4. Griselda Khng Singapore 5. Susannah Pyatt New Zealand 6. Saki Goto Japan 7. Arianna Villena Ecuador 8. Claire Lasko Great Britain 9. Daniela Zimmermann Peru10. Sophie Weguelin Great BritainIODA World Team Racing Championship 1. Poland 5= Denmark 2. Italy 5= Spain 3. Ecuador 7= Greece 4. China 7= New Zealand
101 countries are current members of IODA* 50 attended the 2004 Worlds 73 attended the most recent continental championship 23 built GRP Optimists 17 received development and training grants in 2003/4 * Italics indicates that membership has lapsed AsiaLatvia BahrainLithuania Chin. TaipeiMalta ChinaMoldova Hong KongMonaco IndiaNetherlands IndonesiaNorway JapanPoland KoreaPortugal KuwaitRomania KyrghyzstanRussia MalaysiaSan Marino MyanmarSlovakia PakistanSlovenia PhilippinesSpain QatarSweden SingaporeSwitzerland Sri LankaTurkey ThailandUkraine U.A.E.Yugoslavia Uzbekistan Oceania Am. Samoa Australia Cook IslandsSeychelles FijiS. Africa New ZealandTanzania Papua N.G.Tunisia SamoaUganda Solomon Is.Zimbabwe Tahiti
Development & trainingSailing for a wider world“Co-ordination of youth activity” includes extending sailing. IODA has more than doubled the number ofmember national associations over the last fifteen years and is committed to bringing the benefits of sailingto young people worldwide. It offers limited financial aid to “newer countries” in three areas.Free boats - the “6 for 5” schemeCountries seeking to start or enlarge Optimist fleets can apply for one free boat for every five bought.The boats may be boughtfrom any approvedbuilder and are owned byan association, club orother ‘not for profit’organisation. They mustbe available to the chil-dren of non-sailors.As a variation, countrieswhich build batches ofwood/epoxy Optimistscan receive free spars,sails and fittings. In 2004 beneficiaries have included Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Netherlands Antilles(above) and Tanzania.Over the last three years more than 150 Optimists in thirteen countries have been acquired underthis scheme. Coach-Training Courses For newer Optimist sailing countries and regions IODA subsidises the travel and fees of expert instructors to train local coaches. A successful coaching tour in the southern Caribbean led to the instructor being hired by Trinidad, and other countries in the region have been helped to employ him for coach development. In Central America one course has already been held and, with new fleets in Nicaragua, El Salvador (left) and hopefully soon Costa Rica, a similar coaching tour is plannedParticipation in regional regattasTo encourage regional contacts IODAoffers free entry and/or travel forcountries to send their first sailors to continental and regional regattas.Favourites for these first steps into international competition are theSchoelcher and St. Thomas Regattas in the Caribbean, the All-AfricanChampionship, and the Asian and ASEAN championships.At least as important as the experience for the sailors are the contactsmade by their leaders to exchange information and assistance.Nine countries received such grants in 2003/4 including mostrecently Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.
15Europe The second home Europe was the second home of the Optimist when it wasXXII European Championship - Boys imported to DenmarkOpen Euro and modified. 1. Zemke Wojciech Poland 1 For over twenty years 2. Nicklas Dackhammar Sweden 2 Scandinavian sailors dominated, 3. Alex Zimmermann Peru winning fourteen of the first 4. Alexis Katsios Greece 3 twenty Worlds 1962-1982. But 5. Colin Smith U.S.A. when GRP and mass-production 6. Marko Peresa Croatia 4 7. Fredrik Bergström Sweden 5 arrived the rest of Europe became 8. Kevin Peponnet France 6 competitive with fourteen 9. Jonathan Scharff Denmark 7 countries winning gold over the10. Tommy Fink U.S.A. next 20 years.11. Mateusz Hanke Poland 812. Magnus Rasmusson Sweden 913. Rafal Kalinowski Poland 10 European Championship14. Kohei Ichikawa Japan 168 boys and 100 girls from15. Lovre Perhat Croatia 11 38 countries competed in16. Yvan Beckuis France 12 Sandhamn, Sweden.17. Enzo Savelli Italy 1318. Ekin Bahadir Turkey 1419. Jakub Bajor Poland 1520. Sam Williams U.S.A.XIX European Championship - GirlsOpen Euro 1. Katerina Koutsougera Greece 1 Poland, which had won the team- 2. Afrodite Kirinakou Greece 2 racing at the Worlds with a 3. Ermina Gerogakapolou Greece 3 different team, showed their 4. Agnieszka Skrzypulec Poland 4 strength in depth with four 5. Lina Stock Croatia 5 sailors in the top 20 boys and the 6. Josefin Olsson Sweden 6 7. Federica Wetzl Italy 7 Swedes also did well on their 8. Anne Haeger U.S.A. home waters. 9. Hanna Dahlborg Sweden 810. Anne-Marie Rindom Denmark 9 The Greek girls celebrated the11. Renata Petani Croatia 10 opening of the Athens12. Nerea Peponnet France 1113. Aina Jordi Spain 12 Olympics in style by taking14. Yui Matsushita Japan all three medals.15. Tajana Ganic Croatia 1316. Cassandre Blandin France 1417. Nina Keijzer Netherlands 1518. Emma Oljelund Sweden 1619. Karoline Pepin Germany 1720. Stephanie Zimmermann Peru
Asia The rise of Asia It is hard to imagine that just ten years ago Asia was represented at our Worlds by just seven sailors, five of them from Japan. Now we not only have a Chinese world champion but hot competition between the “big four” - China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, any of which can produce world-class sailors. Two Asians 2004 in fact saw part of two IODA Asian Championships with the 2003 event, held in December for weather reasons in Mumbai, India, actually finishing in the new year. In their home waters India showed that they may be the next force in Optimist sailing taking team bronze and a 7th place for their best sailor. South Asian Regatta A direct result of the Mumbai Asians has been the revival after 23 years of the South Asian Yachting Regatta, a tri-nations event between India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.XV IODA Asian Championship Held in Enterprises and of courseHayama, Japan August 2004 now Optimists, the event includesOpen Asian team-racing in both. 1. Valentino Valacchi Italy As a further development 2. Scott Glen Sydney Singapore 1 efforts are being made to 3. Wataru Komiya Japan 2 establish an Optimist fleet 4. Hotaka Ishihara Japan 3 5. Alvin Yeow Jang Shing Malaysia 4 in the Maldive Islands. 6. Kuanas Ku Zamil Malaysia 5 7. Wei Ming Lun Singapore 6 ASEANs 8. Hitoshi Kumakawa Japan 7 The ASEAN (South East Asian) 9. Wu Tong China 810. Zhong Hainan China 9 Championship, which is actually11. Justin Xiaman Liu Singapore 10 older than the Asians, will be held in Myanmar in December.Girls Michael Myint writes that this 1. Wu Tong China 2. Saki Goto Japan event will be widened to include 3. Wang Dong China Asian and Australasian sailors. 4. Jovina Bei Fen Chu Singapore 70 new Optimists are being 5. Haruka Komiya Japan imported for the event, a majorTeam Racing boost to the region. 1. Japan 2 3. Japan 1 2. Singapore 4. China
17North America U.S.A. - spreading The Optimist was invented in Florida and for forty years did not get much further. But in the 90’s it took off and there are now fleets in more than thirty states. This year’s best sailors came from Long Island Sound and Lake Beulah, Wisconsin. and further About the same time Mexico adopted the Class and early graduates included two future Olympians. The tradition contin- ues with two MEX sails in the top 20 at this year’s Worlds. Bermuda was rather later on the scene, appearing at the Worlds only in 1998. Last year they produced our silver medallist and latest reports are that over 300 kids will take basic courses next year. the Caribbean potential Over the last five years initiatives in this sailingIODA North American Championship paradise have establishedOpen N.Am. Optimist fleets in over a dozen 1. Elijah Simmons Bermuda 1 islands, six of which participated 2. Austen Anderson U.S.A. 2 in this year’s Worlds. 3. Stephanie Roble U.S.A. 3 The incredible 7th place at the 4. Sean Bouchard Bermuda 4 5. Joshua Greenslade Bermuda 5 event taken by a novice with 6. Erik Brockmann Mexico 6 nine months experience confirms 7. Oliver Riihiluoma Bermuda 7 our view that growth will 8. Diego Reyes Mexico 8 identify potential. 9. Haruka Komiya Japan Among the latest additions are10. Jordan Saints Bermuda 911. Jean-Paul de Trazegnies Peru the Bahamas with new fleets in12. Masao Sasagawa Japan two clubs.13. Joe Kutschenreuter U.S.A. 1014. Max Rudolf Schaller Germany 11 and yet further15. Susannah Pyatt New Zealand The latest development is inGirls: Central America. Guatemala led 1. Stephanie Roble U.S.A. 1 the way (and got 2. Haruka Komiya Japan their reward with a 3. Susannah Pyatt New Zealand medal at this year’s 4. Amanda Johnson U.S.A. 2 ISAF Youth 5. Eleanor Gardner Bermuda 3 Worlds). Now newTeam Racing: fleets are being 1. Bermuda 3. U.S.A.1 created in Nicar- 2. U.S.A. 3 4. Japan agua, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
South America Stimulus of the Worlds This year’s Worlds in Salinas, Ecuador provided a a major incentive for the continent, not least for the host nation which dominated the South American Championship and took a convincing bronze medal in the World Team Racing Championship. The northern countries of the continent, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, have never to date produced quite the same quality of sailors as the south but, on this year’s evidence, this could be changing. A change of emphasis In the Optimist world the 90s belonged to Argentina with five individual and four team-racing World golds plus a monopoly on the South American championship. But in the Optimist no domination seems to last for long and Peru has become theXXX1 South American Championship country to watch, not leastAlgarrobo, Chile April 2004 due to a seemingly endlessOpen S.Am. supply of Zimmermanns (they 1. Edgar Diminich Ecuador 1 are cousins and not even your 2. Sean Bouchard Bermuda editor is ever quite sure which 3. Pedro Velez Ecuador 2 belongs to which branch 4. Rafael Quintero Ecuador 3 5. Alex Zimmermann Peru 4 of the family!). 6. Juan Pipkin Argentina 5 Brasil continues to produce a 7. Caio Rotolo Brasil 6 stream of fine sailors, inspired 8. Daniela Zimmermann Peru 7 no doubt by the Graels and 9. Erik Brockmann Mexico Robert Scheidt.10. Cameron Pimentel Bermuda11. Gonzalo Picco Peru 812. Oliver Riihiluoma Bermuda Uruguay 200613. Franco Villanueva Peru 9 The 2006 IODA Worlds has been14. Branko Markinovich Peru 1015. Diego Reyes Mexico awarded to Uruguay (after Christmas) and it is anybody’sGirls: guess which will be the best of 1. Daniela Zimmermann Peru 1 2. Arantza Gumuchio Chile 2 the South Americans, competing 3. Nathalie Zimmermann Peru 3 for once at the height of their 4. Alexia Torres Peru 4 own season. 5. Ariana Villena Ecuador 5Team Racing: 1. Peru 1 3. Argentina 2. Peru 2 4. Uruguay
19Oceania Oceanians in December The IODA Oceanians is held, because of the huge distances, only every second year. The 2004 event will be in New Caledonia in December. The 2002 championship in Samoa was attended by ten Oceanian countries and newcomers this year will include the Wallis Islands. A great year for “downunder” 2004 was the year in which New Zealand made it to Worlds medals, taking silver in the individual event, winning the Miami Herald Trophy for best team and also ranking fourth over-all and fifth girl. For Tahiti Corentin Guegan registered the best ever result, 10th. National Australian team The Australian Worlds team was probably the most representative so far with sailors from Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.Africa The African Championship A great disappointment of 2004 was the cancellation of the4th IODA African Championship which was to have been held in Algeria. But this is the Optimist Class and we have high hopes for the the 2005 Championship which is to be organised by the Kenyan Optimist Association at the salt- water venue of Dar es Salaam which is actually in Tanzania. As shown on the development page, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all have new or much upgraded fleets in the last three years and it is hoped that the 2005 turnout will exceed the nine African countries present in 2003.
Sailing for girls Together or separately? There are many theories about women and sport. At Optimist age there is very little difference in the physical strength of boys and girls. A pragmatic view The Optimist world accepts the evidence as it is. Some girls are as good as or better than their brothers. We have had two female open world champions. So at the Worlds we race as one fleet, boys and girls together. But we also find that only around 15% of those selected on merit for their national Worlds teams are girls. So at continental championships we reserve places for them. As a result nationally girls have two targets: qualify for the Worlds by getting into the top five, or concentrate on being one of the best girls to go to a continental championship. Other cultures It is often thought that sport for girls faces extra problems in non- European societies. This is not the Optimist experience - this year the top five girls were from five different continents. Sailing for girls seems to be acceptable to all cultures and creeds and, wherever Optimist fleets start to develop, the girls soon realise that this activity is far too much fun to allow themselves to be left out.
21After the Optimist A lifetime sport Sailing is a lifetime sport where those aged 8 to 80 are practisingThe Olympic dream the same skills. One of the tasksKids dream. Parents dream. Maybe even the men in blue blazers of the Optimist Class is tosometimes dream! provide the sailors of the future.It is achievable: 70-80% continue to sail Research on the internet hasSiren Sundby established that at least twoOptimist European Champion (Girls) thirds of the thousands of1995 &1996 IODA congratulates of Optimist sailors whoGirls’ Gold & 10th over-all, Optimist all the former Optimist who reach national champi-Worlds 1997 sailors who achieved their onship level each yearISAF World Youth Champion 2000 Olympic dreams.Olympian 2000 continue to sailOLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST 2004 competitively after the Optimist Feeding the youth ClassesThe medallists The immediate next boat for74% of the skippers of the medal-winning nearly 80% of top Optimistboats were former Optimist sailors. And over 70%of these had sailed sailors is the Laser or the 420in IODA World or continental championships. (though in some countries theyOptiworld congratulates the following ex-Optimists on their medals graduate directly to the 470).(* = Optimist international): The recent expansion of theRobert Scheidt* Natalia Via Dufresne* Therese Torgersson* Laser 4.7 has provided a muchBen Ainslie* John Lovell* Chris Draper* needed additional step especiallySiren Sundby* Ross MacDonald Santiago Lange* in countries with windySofia Bekatorou* Nikolaos Kaklamanakis Xavier Rohart* conditions.Iker Martinez* Vasilij Zbogar* Pascal Rambeau The Europe remains popular inAndreas Geritzer* Matthias Kusznierewicz Dorte Jensen northern Europe and among girls,Rafael Trujillo Signe Livbjerg Sarah Webb and a surprising number goNick Rogers* Kazuto Seki* directly to Snipes. A number of newer boats haveThe Olympians been developed specifically forAt least 60% of all Olympic boat skippers were ex-Optimists and the post-Optimist market but fewalmost 70% of these were former Optimist internationals. of them seem as yet to have made much impact worldwide.But what about the others?The Olympic dream is not for everyone.With just over 400 places at each Olympics (including those who do it and laterstanding up!) and maybe 6,000 Optimist internationals in a decade, only Older ex-Optimists can be founda tiny proportion will make the transition. It may take 15 or more years of sailing almost anythingdedicated effort. And it may end in frustration. that races!The evidence is that only 15% will even try, the percentage of the relevant Even of those with no desire toage-group which participated in the 2003 ISAF Olympic Classes world go the Olympic way manychampionship. remain faithful to their Lasers orBut the others don’t give up competitive sailing. 470s, but the inshore one-designA study of the sailors at the 1995 Optimist Worlds has found that 66% keelboats also attract many ofof them can be identified as sailing later, and in the European Union this the by now unrecognisablefigure rises to 80%, perhaps because of better internet reporting. former Optimist urchins!Sailing is for life!
National Associations Over 100 Associations Worldwide there are over 100 national associations affiliated to IODA. It is they who ensure the health and growth of the local Class. Parents should not only join but should offer their skills in the service of these largely amateur bodies. Calendars Racing is most fun against sailors of your own level of ability. Normally this means taking part in “open” regattas organised by other clubs. National associations co-ordinate and publish a calendar of these events. Trials An important function of national associations is to conduct the trial races to select national teams. These are not just intended for those who expect to qualify and in many countries are attended by up to 200 sailors, sometimes selected from an even Many run great websites! bigger rank-list. In the northern hemisphere trials often start as soon as the weather allows - so you can see Optimists sailing while adults are still trying to find the paint-brush! Training All national associations organise training, and many co-ordinate a programme of training camps and courses. Measurement Certification by builders that their products conform to Class Rules has removed much of the bureaucracy of measurement. But boats and equipment still need to be checked and this is an important task of national associations. Either they or the Nationalwww.optiworld.org/ioda-members.html Sailing Association issue the sail number, essential before racing.
23IODA Continuity In a Class where sailors and their parents are constantlyForty years: five presidents changing, the continuity in the administration ofThe International Optimist Dinghy Association was founded in 1965 and the international Classhas had just five presidents in the intervening 40 years. is vitally important. Viggo Jacobsen 1965-1982 Viggo, from Aarhus, Denmark was elected chairman Democracy when IODA was founded at the Worlds in Finland The Annual Meeting, attended with just seven members. this year by delegates from 50 He guided the Class through many technical countries remains the supreme developments including the first GRP boats and authority in the Class. by the time he retired there were 30 nations at the Worlds. Its collective decisions Still active, he recently celebrated his 90th birthday show a remarkable unselfishness, with the Nigel Ringrose 1982-1985 wealthier nations repeatedlyNigel had introduced the Optimist to England in banning expensive innovations.1960 and had acted as Viggo’s vice-president.His great contribution internationally was that he Committeestravelled widely on business and introduced the IODA operates with a minimumOptimist to Argentina, South Africa and else- of bureaucracy.where . . . . and re-started them in the U.S.A.!He remains passionately devoted to sailing in The Executive comprises thedeveloping countries. president, three vice-presidents whose job it is to liaise with Al Chandler 1985-1989 specific geographical areas, and Al, an American lawyer living in Thailand, had host- the chairmen of the Technical ed the 1979 Worlds, the last to be sailed in wooden and Regatta Committees. boats. He is also an experienced ISAF I.J. As well as promoting the Class throughout Asia Experts and beyond, Al established the constitutional groundrules for IODA and its events. In recent years the ISAF has Al is still deeply involved in sailing: Thailand will established formal qualification host the 2005 Asian Championship. of experts in different areas and IODA is fortunate to have theHelen Mary Wilkes 1989-1998 services of such people. TheFrom Howth in Ireland, Helen Mary had been Regatta Committee is composedsecretary of the Irish Class and the 1981 Worlds. of International Race OfficersShe inspired and led the ‘IOD95’ project which (IROs) or Judges (IJs) and therestored the Optimist as a true one-design, and Technical Committee ofput IODA on a firm legal and financial base. International Measurers (IMs).Following retiral as the first president of theWomen’s Match Racing Association, she continuesto be closely involved with the Class. Secretariat IODA has had even fewer René Kluin 1998- secretaries than presidents. From Rotterdam, René organised the 1987 Worlds and Edith Jacobsen was the secretary has twice served as a Race officer at the Olympics. until the retirement of Viggo, at A longtime member of the IODA Regatta Comm- ittee René has always sought to achieve the best which point a dedicated secretari- possible racing for our young sailors while never at was established in Aarhus forgetting to keep it child-friendly. under the ever-loyal Hanne Rix. A financial controller within the Dutch civil service, Following her retirement in 1997 René now oversees the increasingly complex adminis- Robert Wilkes in Dublin tration of the ever-growing Class. became secretary.
IODA President: René Kluin I.R.O. (NED) Vice-Presidents: IODA was founded in 1965 and became an ISAF (then David Booth (RSA) IYRU) International Class in 1973. Peter Barclay (PER) Mimi Santos (POR) To maintain the strict one-design principle it measures pro- totypes from each mould, conducts inspections, undertakes scrutineering at major championships, and maintains a net- Technical Comittee: work of International Measurers (I.M.s) Curly Morris I.M. (IRL) chairman Nuno Reis I.M. (POR) To ensure the quality of racing it provides top International Paolo Luciani I.M. (ITA) Race Officers (I.R.O.s) for major championships and pub- Consultant: lishes guidelines for organising them. Luis Horta Moragas I.M. (ESP) Coordinating national associations on each continent is Regatta Committee: largely the work of the vice-presidents. Michel Barbier I.R.O., I.J. (FRA) chairma The secretariat conducts all correspondence, maintains the Alen Kustic I.R.O. (CRO) website and publishes newsletters and this yearbook. Luis Ormaechea I.R.O., I.J. (ESP) Peter Valentino I.J. (MLT) Consultant: Tony Lockett I.R.O. (GBR) International Measurers: Jean-Luc Gauthier I.M. (FRA) Ms. Hyo-Kyung Jang I.M. (KOR) Paolo Luciani I.M. (ITA) Luis Horta Moragas I.M. (ESP) Curly Morris I.M. (IRL) Nuno Reis I.M. (POR) Members of Honour: Viggo Jacobsen (President of Honou Lars Wallin Nigel Ringros Erik C. Hansen Al Chandler Jens Andersen Fred Kats Helen Mary Wilkes Ralph Sjöholm Norman Jenkins Secretariat: International Optimist Dinghy Association Balscadden View, Abbey St. Howth, Dublin, Ireland www.optiworld.org Secretary: Robert Wilkes Tel: +353-1-839 5587 Fax: +353-1-839 4528The back cover shows an Optimist rigged with a ‘crab claw’ rig! e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhoto François Chevalier, courtesy of Voiles et Voiliers